Ofsted inspectors praise Sunderland University’s new art diploma

Judith Hills, Associate Dean, Arts, Design and Media, University of Sunderland, at National Glass Centre.
Judith Hills, Associate Dean, Arts, Design and Media, University of Sunderland, at National Glass Centre.
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AN art course has made a splash with education bosses.

Ofsted inspectors judged the University of Sunderland’s Foundation Diploma in Art and Design as outstanding in every area.

Based at National Glass Centre, this was the first time the course has been inspected and came out with the highest rating.

The university was praised for helping students achieve “exceptionally well” and for a culture of “high expectation”.

Inspectors also noted “excellent” progression rates to specialist degree courses and said teaching was “highly effective,” while rigorous assessments helped students improve and develop their talents.

The Ofsted report added students have good opportunities to work alongside experienced artists and to develop excellent practical and technical skills.

It also singled out the university’s use of the National Glass Centre facilities for particular praise, explaining students benefit substantially from the location and high-profile reputation and status which the centre enjoys.

Inspectors said: “Students benefit from excellent facilities and specialist equipment to support their practical and academic work.

“Extensive library and specialist reference collections significantly enhance students’ research and project development.”

Judith Hills, Associate Dean of arts, design and media at the university, said she was thrilled with the outcome of the inspection.

She said: “We are really proud our foundation course has been rated outstanding in all three aspects, making it the most highly rated in the region.

“It is confirmation of what we believed, that the teaching from experienced academics and professional artists in the inspirational surroundings of the National Glass Centre makes this course unique.”

The university was also commended for access which students have to outstanding resources, modern technology and activities, which included visits to local and national museums and study trips abroad.

End of year work by the students will go on display at National Glass Centre in St Peter’s on Thursday, May 29, at 6.30pm for anyone to go along and take a look at.